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Neuroplasticity and musculoskeletal rehabilitation

Neuroplasticity: key to a greater understanding and better treatment for musculoskeletal disorders?

Physiological or environmental changes or experiences trigger reorganization of the central nervous system (CNS), a process that is often pointed to as neuroplasticity. As neuroplasticity is typically reversible, it provides a potential entry point for physiotherapeutic intervention strategies; it increases understanding of underlying dysfunctional mechanisms and effectiveness of treatments targeting the musculoskeletal system.

Neuroplasticity can specifically be targeted with intervention strategies such a mental imagery and task-specific training. Moreover, a shift of attention from an internal focus to an external focus can contribute to improvements in motor performance and therefore may enhance the effect of musculoskeletal interventions. In the future, neural adaptations resulting from musculoskeletal disorders and rehabilitation modalities specifically addressing these adaptations must be further investigated.

> From: Snodgrass et al., Man Ther (2014-10-02 07:04:21) (Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to Elsevier Ltd. Click here for the online summary.

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